A difficult question, and one in which Christians may differ.
1. God allowed his nation, Israel, to defend itself. That much is clear.
2. God's preferred method of defense was for us to be still, and wait for His salvation. And yet there were many times where He also commanded the Israelites to attack. There were other times (Elisha and the surrounding Ammonites who were struck blind) when He did the entire defense, and no one was killed. Gideon was commanded to attack. David was commanded to attack. Was that the times, or has God changed His mind about it?
3. The Bible has texts which tell us to make our "swords and spears" into "plowshares". There are other texts which tell us to do the opposite.
4. Jesus told His disciples to "put up your sword", and at other times, He said to "sell your garment and buy a sword".
What are we to do with this? Especially when we realize that the Ten Commandments say "Thou shalt not murder" (not "Thou shalt not kill", as I was brought up with). Just pulling out the texts that argue our preferred conclusion is not valid. How does the Bible explain itself on this topic?
It is clear that there have been recent times where it took violence to prevent evil from swamping civilization. No one would argue that resistance to Hitler was a good thing. Or that resistance to the Japanese aggression was a good thing. What are we to do?
Killing is to defend yourself or another. Murder, is to kill someone for the sake of taking a life for entertainment or convenience. Thousands of women murder babies for convenience on a regular basis. In essence, one gender in the United States has been given by the Government a license to Murder.
That is an interesting point. Many in the SDA church are very vocal when it comes to an object like a fire arm which has no life and does no harm unless the trigger is pulled by someone who has murder in their heart. It would seem these vocal Bible students are not up on the causes of sin. You can murder someone with yarn and two sticks very easily if you choose to do so but I don't see the call for removing yarn from homes.
What is saddening is how non-vocal many SDA members are to abortion. If you want to talk about the innocent being murdered that is where it is at. If anything there should be no abortion anywhere at SDA hospitals or clinics. I guess the sight of firearm is causes more emotion than a doctor in a lab coat with forceps and a vacuum cleaner.
Yes, it is difficult for me to take seriously strong negative opinions about whether or not it is okay to defend one's self from someone who does not condemn abortion equally as vigorously.
IN THE ARMY, THEY TRAINED US TO KILL WITH OUR BARE HANDS IF NEED BE.
TRUE. I SAW A DOCUMENTARY ONCE ON THE HISTORY CHANNEL ABOUT HOW MANY COUNTRIES AND THEIR MILITARY HAVE STUDIED THE BIBLE/ISREALITE WAR TACTICS AND HOW IT IS INCORPORATED INTO MODERN WAR STRATEGIES. COOL. CHUCK ONE UP FOR GOD.
I think people have a hard time understanding the meaning of words. The words "self" and "defense" are stuck together and mean defense of one's person or interests Most take self-defense to mean violence with fists, guns, tanks, swords and such, but how many here practice self-defense or to put in another way defense of self. Defense of selfish ideas, defense of ego, defense of favored sins. I know I am guilty. Do we act like Jesus when we defend our self? Defending others (not violence or force) cannot be called self defense because when you defend others you are not defending self. If your neighbor is being bullied and you step in and speak up for that person and / or take the beating to save your neighbor you are not defending self. You are acting the way Jesus would have you act.
We are to always give a defense for the faith that is in us with meekness and fear. But also we are to allow Jesus to fight our battles for us. "The battle belongs to the Lord."
Look into it study it out and find out the answer that is righteous.
The topic is not about fight for land but rather about self-defense. It is a good question, at what point should we say this far and no farther.
Her is an example from the Bible that is not a fight over land.
Genesis 14: 14 And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan.
15 And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus.